Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
There are two good ways to destroy an otherwise plausible plot: You disrupt the flow by going back and forth in events that should have been connected in the course of the previous eight episodes, and you stuff as much new information as you can in the second half. Shuumatsu no Izetta did both. A shame, really.
Japanese Title: ゼルン回廊, 燃ゆ Der Sellun-Korridor brennt nieder
I’m not sure how to approach this episode. Last week’s Rickett scenes might as well be the best that the series had to offer so far. The first half of the episode repeated the same mistakes of the previous episodes: it did nothing to advance the plot and instead we had the maid tell us how many months it’s been since the last episode, and how Izetta was busy building her marketing profile. The episode had the nerves to begin with a battle scene, when all the battle we saw during the first half was mine against my repeated sighs and GET IT OVER WITHs. Bianca and Sieg talk about things we already know in a boring meeting. Then the war council talks about things we already know and a few things we didn’t in another boring meeting. Fine and Izetta meet to talk about things we already know in yet another boring conversation. Yes, Izetta, we know how much you LOOOOOVE this country and how much you LOOOOOOVE Eylstadt, and no Fine, Izetta is not smart enough to blame you for not keeping your promise that was unrealistic from the very beginning because you based it on the overwhelming power of a witch that has an unreasonable crush on you. And then we have another meeting about some torpedoes they added wings at, because Izetta couldn’t make them fly just by touching them. They needed wings. Probably for better air control. I don’t even know what I’m saying in this review.
The second part tried to explain the unexplainable through a series of flashback scenes. In just ten minutes we had both the plot twist and the explanation. I felt like the series took me in the fastest roller coaster ride, except the rails were just a plain circle. Fast and boring. The whole Sophie is the clone of the white witch but she is an evil bitch because she was bred by Germanians and that’s why she has purple lances because purple and organic-looking screams evil but she tries to logic her way out by reminding Izetta that magic shouldn’t be used to interfere to human affairs but since the red-haired idiot insists Sophie HAS to kill her because she tasted her blood that that’s how she became evil and got her magic powers and she also has a gem that acts like a NULL MAGIC spell which means that they didn’t need the map but probably they learned about the power of the gem later but they didn’t bother to tell us but instead the writers thought it was important to know that Elliot is blind and that Rickett’s dad is sad and two hours later the capital fell.
The previous sentence was written that way in purpose, because that’s exactly how convoluted and unnecessary boring and complicated the story felt. Like a sentence without punctuation and logical coherence. Now that I think about it, that’s the same way I always write. Damn.
Free Fall: Izetta doesn’t just ride her gun. She has to imbue it with magic, get it far away from the plane she is riding, and have the pilot turn the plane upside down so she can free-fall on it. You either do it right, or you don’t.
Sophie: Sophie? The white witch? Clone? What? Who? At least she knew how to do bondage right with the chains around Izetta’s boobs. A kind of bondage that disappeared in the next scene, but what the hell, at least we got a few seconds of fan service and some nice boob physics when Izetta lost her magic. You know there was something wrong with the episode when you start talking about boob physics.
Germanians: At least they have a strategy. Berkmann is the coolest character of the show. I hope he wins, kills the emperor, and takes over the world.
Western Comic: Izetta is the protagonist of her own version of Action Comics, Amazing Comics Vol.1 as the Witch Girl. One of the few references to western comics I have seen in an anime.
Rail Tracks: According to the Association of American Railroads, there is truth to be found in the scene we most associate with old westerns. An approaching train can be detected by the rail tracks, but you don’t actually hear anything. You can instead feel the vibrations on the track. So, essentially there is no need to use your ear at all.
AA Guns: AA is short for anti-aircraft. They are ground weapons designed to attack aircrafts. They usually have a high rate of fire and mount shells specially designed to damage aircrafts. They can be used against earth targets as well. The FlaK models used by Germany during World War II are among the most commonly known AA guns.
Action Comics Vol.1: The comic that Izetta is featured on the cover is a reference to the first volume of Action Comics, the American comic book that introduced Superman on April 18, 1938.
I was just about to comment on the drop in animation quality, something I rarely do. I don’t intend to start now. But the episode was so bad in terms of flow and story that it made me notice things I otherwise wouldn’t have like sloppy expressions and repeated animations. I am a firm believer that animation is second to music and music is second to story, and none of the three was good in this episode.
I am sure that the last episodes will bring about a few more plot twists and will unveil the real events behind the legend of the White Witch. I hope that we get to see more battles, because the battle for good scriptwriting has already been lost for this anime.
Did you like the episode? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews!
NEXT TIME: The witch’s iron hammer (魔女の鉄槌 Der eiserne Hammer der Hexe)